How plumbing helped Ed O’Connell overcome adversity – a SRT Event Update

Has your trade ever helped you overcome some type of major adversity?  Plumbing did that for Ed O’Connell.

This is an update on general “going-on’s” at Service Roundtable International Event.   

Tuesday’s (12th) was a highlight of Guest Speakers.  The topic is:

Overcoming Adversity

I heard a speaker that morning that made me see thinks in a new perspective.

Ed O’Connell

How Plumbing Overcame Adversity

How Plumbing Overcame Adversity

Ed O’Connell is the owner of a Plumbing Company is the San Francisco area.  Ed shared one of those stories that is hard to listen to.  The things he went through in his early years would have killed most people.


Ed’s early years were a battle of drugs and dangerous situations.  He told us,

I was shot in Vietnam.  But it wasn’t by the Vietcong.  I was shot by a drug dealer.  I had to make up a pretty wild story to get out of that one.”

When he returned to the states, things got worse for Ed.  His drug use and dangerous lifestyle escalated.

A cop grabbed me by the arm and said, ‘You can’t urinate in the street . .’  The cop whipped me around, and he saw a knife sticking out of my side.  I didn’t even know it was there.  The cop then said, ‘Great.  Now I have a ton of paperwork to do.’  I flat lined at San Francisco Medical that day.  But, they were able to bring me back.

Ed’s story had a few more up’s and down’s.  But, eventually it started looking up.

Ed reconnected with the world of plumbing after rehabilitation in the VA Hospital.  Ed plumbed part time before the war, but it wasn’t a career choice.  His career choice was “trouble.”  Having a trade to fall back on helped Ed get his life back together.  Plumbing gave him the ability to start a new life.  A life where things begin to take possibility.  A life where people cared about him, and he cared about people.

Today, Ed and his wife Rebecca are respected business owners’.  And, they are passionate about the contracting world.  They are also passionate about groups like SRT that allow contractors to network, and learn from each other.

You may call it spirituality, you might call it divine intervention, I call it you!

I have known Ed for 7 years.  But, I didn’t really know Ed until he took the stage.  Thank you for sharing Ed!

Question:  How has the contracting world saved your life?

PS – I don’t have Ed’s preso, but you can get a copy of my presentation by leaving your name HERE

The PRESS PLAY Training Series

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “How plumbing helped Ed O’Connell overcome adversity – a SRT Event Update

  1. Thanks for sharing this blog. I too can relate. I recently was discharged from the Marine Corps and the lady words I was told was “good luck out there, it’s a tough life. ” The transition from “military” life to “civilian” life can be very difficult. But I too received help from a great friend offering me a job in hvac. It gave me an opportunity to quickly get involved back into the general public. Ed I throughly enjoyed reading your story. Keep it up brother. Thanks.

  2. “You may call it spirituality, you might call it divine intervention,”
    I am sure Ed did not approve of this line. I remember several of his posts where he clearly proclaimed that he is an athiest. He grumbled every time anything resembling religion or spirituality was posted to the SRT. I am not a religious person but I am libertarian enough to allow everyones point of view without voicing strong opposition to thier points of view. In my opinion, This is hypocritical to his past stated beliefs.

    • Phil, Ed read this and approved it before I published it. However, I think I know where the confusion is coming from.

      Ed was making the statement that he “calls it you.” As in, the people that are in the community are the reason why he has been able to overcome so many obstacles. Not spirituality or divine intervention. He made that really clear.

      I wish you could have been here. On stage, Ed did a nice job of voicing his beliefs, and not bashing other beliefs.

      Ed and I share very different perspectives on God. But, I am here to serve him, Rebecca, you and all the contractors.

      Phil – Thank you for participating, and I hope to see you on here again.